Hawaii moves forward on historic gun legislation

With of a stroke of his pen last Thursday, Democratic Gov. David Ige of Hawaii made his state the first to place its registered gun owners in a centralized database run by the FBI.

The requirement is one of three new gun laws approved by the Democratic-led state legislature and the governor in response to the federal government's inaction on curbing gun violence in America after the deadly terrorist attack in Orlando.

SB 2954, or Act 108, forces Hawaii law enforcement to enroll future and already registered gun owners into a federal criminal watch list, known as "Rap Back," which allows federal officials to notify Hawaii police when an owner is arrested.

According to the FBI's website, the "Rap Back" database is typically reserved for people who "hold positions of trust" such as school teachers and daycare workers or for those under investigations.

Effective immediately, the legislation also grants local police the authority to determine whether an arrested gun owner should be able to keep his or her firearm.

Though the law has no influence on the mainland, critics have not been silent on its possible political ramifications.

"The so-called 'Rap Back' bill in Hawaii is an extreme anti-gun law that puts law-abiding gun owners on a criminal database for FBI monitoring, and therefore treats guns ownership as inherently suspicious," said NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter in a statement to CBS News.

"Perhaps most upsetting, it does nothing to enhance public safety in the state as it will only apply to people who follow the law and register their firearms," she added.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his distaste for the legislation:


State senator and co-author of the bill, Will Espero, told CBS News his critics' "fears of a database are unfounded," noting that those kinds of lists already exist on a state and county level.

"This is a new collaboration between the FBI and the state law enforcement that should add another layer of protection for families and communities," he said. "Using the list allows use of modern technology to efficiently share data between the federal government and state. No rights are infringed upon."

Hunter says the law's grasp could extend beyond the island by affecting gun-carrying visitors and tourists, requiring them to be added to the database. However, the state attorney general says that visitors carrying firearms will be able to petition to be taken off the list once they depart.

The two other bills that passed include gun restrictions for those guilty of stalking or sexual assault and gun and ammunition disqualifications due to "diagnosis of significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder."